Friday, October 19, 2018


Sermon Summary, 9/30/18, “Encounter with Martha and Mary” (John 11:1-44 selected)

I remember a talk I had with my pastor years ago.  I told him that I believed in God but I wasn’t sure about this Jesus.  I am amazed that he kept silent.  He must have known that grace would teach me what I needed to know.  In another conversation, I noted that Christ was 100 percent divine and 100 percent human (see the Nicene Creed).  My friend asked if that really made sense.  I didn’t have an answer, and what difference would it make?  We’ll find that it makes all the difference.

Our Scripture today is about the raising of Lazarus, but I’m most interested in in the encounters with Martha and Mary.  First Martha, beginning in verse 20, 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

In the face of death we get angry, we accuse God, “If you had been here, if you would have answered my prayers..” 

Jesus replies, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

The divine Jesus answers her, assures her, assures us that he is the giver of eternal life.  He is the source of our hope.

Martha then tells Mary that Jesus is here.  Beginning in verse 32.  32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

The very same accusation.  “Jesus, where were you?”  This time, the response is completely different.  It is a response of a very human Jesus.  33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.

Jesus wept!  In the face of death, Jesus, angry with death, wept.  He wept for Lazarus, he wept for Nancy, he wept for Rosemary.  He wept for Barbara.  He weeps for all of us.

It is through the Divine Jesus that we receive the assurance of eternal life, but without his humanity, we would never experience him.  We would never feel his love.  We would never experience his compassion.  I’m sure about this Jesus.  And I’m sure about his Divinity and his humanity.  So may it be with you.

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